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The "Mad Men" Reading List

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You might remember my original list, which will always be available here
 

This revised list will be easier to follow and, like my previous list, it will be updated as books appear in new episodes. Details on literary references will continue in the comments field. As mentioned in my original blog post, some of the books on the list are featured more prominently in the series than others, but all are a great way to gain insight into the episodes and the social and cultural times in which the series is set.

You might also be interested in taking a look at the Sally Draper reading list, the Glen Bishop reading list, the Mad Men Mystery Solved blog post, and my Mad Men and Sally Draper reading lists on BiblioCommons.

For #MadMenReading related discussions and other news, you can follow me and Mid-Manhattan Library on Twitter and Facebook.  
 
Lastly, as any ad man will tell you, a picture is worth a thousand words, so be sure to stop by Mid-Manhattan Library's Art and Picture Collections for all your visual resource needs!
 
The conversation is about to begin again. Pour yourself another scotch, and enjoy! 
 
 

Season 7

Episode 6 - "The Strategy"

Katie Mulholland / Catherine Cookson (click here for more details)

 

 

 

The Ceremony of Innocence / Ronald Ribman

 

 

 

Episode 4 - "The Monolith"

Portnoy's Complaint / Philip Roth

 

 

 

From the Earth to the Moon / Jules Verne (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Listen to the Warm / Rod McKuen (click here for more details)

 

 

 

The Detective / Roderick ThorpShadow of a Bull Maia Wojciechowska (click here and here for more details)

 

 

Episode 3 - "Field Trip"

The American Way of Death / Jessica Mitford

 

 

 

Frankenstein / Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Dracula / Bram Stoker (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book: For the Hostess and Host of Tomorrow

 

 

 

Episode 1 - "Time Zones"

A Small Town in GermanyJohn Le Carré (click here for more details)

 

 

 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Season 7 Promotional Cast Photo

 The Penny Wars / Elliott Baker (click here for more information)

 

 

 

Season 6

Episode 12 - "The Quality of Mercy" (click here for more details)

Evolution / Ruth E. Moore (click here for more details) 

 

 

 

Episode 11 - "Favors"

Nicholas and Alexandra Robert K. Massie (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 10 - "A Tale of Two Cities" (click here for more details)

Bhagavad Gita (click here for more details)

 

 

 

How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling / Frank Bettger (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 8 - "The Crash"

Rosemary's Baby / Ira levin

 

 

 

I Ching : The Book of Change / John Blofeld

 

 

 

Valley of the Dolls /  Jacqueline Susann (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 7 - "Man With a Plan"

The Last Picture Show / Larry McMurtry

 

 

 

Episode 6 - "For Immediate Release"

Something / Ralph Waldo Emerson (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Sterling's Gold / Roger Sterling

 

 

 

Episode 5 - "The Flood"

Topaz / Leon Uris

 

 

 

Episode 1 and 2- "The Doorway"

 

The Inferno / Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Julius Caesar / William Shakespeare

 

 

 

Season 5

Episode 13 - "The Phantom"

    Third Girl / Agatha Christie (click here for more details)

 

 

 

 

Twice 22 / Ray Bradbury, Tai-Pan / James Clavell, The Smokejumpers / Randle M. Hurst, The Sunday Gentleman / Irving Wallace (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 12 - "Commissions and Fees"

Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion / Herbert Aptheker (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 11 - "The Other Woman"

Goodnight Moon / Margaret Wise Brown

 

 

 

Nature / Ralph Waldo Emerson (Click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 9 - "Dark Shadows"

The Black Cauldron / Lloyd Alexander (Click here for more details)

 

 

 

Odds Against / Dick Francis

 

 

 

"Ozymandias" / Percy Bysshe Shelley (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 8 - "Lady Lazarus"

 

The Crying of Lot 49 / Thomas Pynchon

 

 

 

Episode 7 - "At the Codfish Ball"

 

The Fixer / Bernard Malamud (click here for more details)

 

 

 

 

The Berlitz Self-Teacher: French

 

 

 

 

Episode 6 - "Far Away Places"

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

 

 

 

The Life of Greece / Will Durant (click here for more details)

 

 

 

 

Episode 4 - "Mystery Date"

Where Love Has Gone / Harold Robbins (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 3 - "Tea Leaves"

Mein Kampf / Adolf Hitler (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Sterling’s Gold / Roger Sterling (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 1 and 2 - "A Little Kiss"

Johnny Got His Gun / Dalton Trumbo

 

 

 

The Sand Pebbles / Richard McKenna

A Thousand Days / John F. Kennedy in the White House / Arthur Schlesinger

 

 

Season 4

Episode 13  "Tomorrowland" 

   You Are Not the Target: A Practical Manual of How to Cope with a World of Bewildering Change / Laura Archera HuxleyGazella / Stuart Cloete (See 1/21/12  update for more details)

  

 

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold / John Le Carré

 

 

   

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain 

 

 

 

Episode 11  "Chinese Wall"

Meeting with Japan / Fosco Maraini

 

 

 

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships / Eric Berne

 

 

 

Sterling’s Gold / Roger Sterling

 

 

 

Episode 10 - "Hands and Knees"

The Miracle Worker / William Gibson 

 

 

 

Episode 9  "The Beautiful Girls"

The Clue of the Black Keys / Carolyn Keene
(See The Sally Draper reading list for more details) 

 

 

 

Episode 5 "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword"

The Twenty-One Balloons / William Pène DuBois
(See "Mad Men Mystery Solved" for more details) 

 

 

 

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword / Ruth Benedict

 

 

 

The Horse That Liked Sandwiches / Vivian L. Thompson

 

 

 

Season 3

Episode 10  "The Color Blue"

The Group / Mary McCarthy

 

 

 

Helping Yourself with Psychiatry / Frank CaprioSet Theory and Logic / Robert StollMeeting with Japan / Fosco MarainiThe Corps / W.E.B. Griffin
(See 10/23/10 update for more details) 

 

 

Episode 9  "Wee Small House"

The Bible

 

 

 

Episode 7  "Seven Twenty Three"

Confessions of an Advertising Man / David Ogilvy

 

 

 

Be My Guest / Conrad Hilton
(See 10/23/10 update for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 6  "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain
(See 10/23/10 update for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 3  "My Old Kentucky Home"

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire / Edward Gibbon

 

 

 

Episode 2  "Love Among the Ruins"

The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary
(See 10/20/10 update #2 for more details)

 

 

 

Season 2

Episode 11  "Jet Set"

The Sound and the Fury / William Faulkner

 

 

 

Episode 10  "The Inheritance"

Junior Classics Volume One (Fairy Tales And Fables) and Volume Seven (The Animal Book)

 

 

 

Episode 9  "Six Month Leave"

Ship of Fools / Katherine Anne Porter

 

 

 

Episode 8  "A Night to Remember"

Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies / C. S. Forester
(See 1/22/12 update for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 4  "Three Sundays"

“A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” from Babylon Revisited and Other Stories / F. Scott Fitzgerald
(See "A Mad Men Mystery Solved" for more details) 

  

 

 

Episode 3  "The Benefactor"

Marjorie Morningstar / Herman Wouk

 

 

 

Episode 2  "Flight 1"

The Agony and the Ecstasy / Irving Stone (click here for more details)

 

 

 

Episode 1  "For Those Who Think Young"

Meditations in an Emergency / Frank O’Hara

 

 

 

Season 1

Episode 8  "The Hobo Code"

Atlas Shrugged / Ayn Rand
The Crisis of the Old Order / Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
The Americans: The Colonial Experience / Daniel Boorstin 

 

 

Episode 6  "Babylon"

The Best of Everything / Rona Jaffe

 

 

  

Exodus / Leon Uris

 

 

 

Episode 4  "New Amsterdam"

Nursery Friends from France / translated by Olive Beaupre Miller

   

 

 

Italy / Herbert Kubly and the editors of Life

 

 

 

Episode 3  "Marriage of Figaro"

 

Lady Chatterley's Lover / D. H. Lawrence

 

 

Episode 1  "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"

The Crisis of the Old Order / Arthur Schlesinger Jr.   

  

 

 

The View from Chivo / H. Allen SmithThe Peking Man is Missing / Claire Taschdjian
La Presidenta / Lois GouldMasterpieces of World Literature in Digest Form / Frank Magill

             

 

 

Multiple episodes

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

 

 

 

Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

The Image, or What Happened to the American Dream / Daniel Boorstin

Sex and the Single Girl / Helen Gurley Brown 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 

Books About the Show

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Comments

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Mad Men discussion group

Going to start a season 1 discussion group at the library in april! I'm using your list (with credit to you) on a bookmark. Nice work!

Great idea!

Let us know how the discussion goes!

Compliments

A great work! I love the Mad Man series

update this for season 6!

update this for season 6!

Will do!

This list will keep going as long as the show does! The Hawaii beach preview with "Dante's Inferno" will have to hold you over until Season 6 starts. Thanks!

add a new novel

SPLIT THIRTY -- just published. Nails Madison Avenue in the early '70s.

thanks!

Thanks for reading!

January 7, 1968 Best Sellers

The season 6 premiere has a shot of the front page of the January 1, 1968 New York Times so we know when the episode took place. The top 10 New York Times best sellers for the week of January 7, 1968 were: 1) The Confessions of Nat Turner, by William Styron 2) Topaz, by Leon Uris 3) Christy, by Catherine Marshall 4) The Gabriel Hounds, by Mary Stewart 5) The Instrument, by John O'Hara 6) The Exhibitionist, by Henry Sutton 7) The Chosen, by Chaim Potok 8) Where Eagles Dare, by Alistair MacLean 9) The President's Plane is Missing, by Robert J. Serling 10) Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin

June 2, 1968 Best Sellers

Season 6 Episode 7 ended on June 6, 1968. The top 10 New York Times best sellers for the week of June 2, 1968 were: 1) Airport, by Arthur Hailey 2) Couples, by John Updike 3) Myra Breckinridge, by Gore Vidal 4) Topaz, by Leon Uris 5) Vanished, by Fletcher Knebel 6) The Confessions of Nat Turner, by William Styron 7) Testimony of Two Men, by Taylor Caldwell 8) The Tower of Babel, by Morris West 9) Christy, by Catherine Marshall 10) Tunc, by Lawrence Durrell

November 24, 1968 Best Sellers

Season 6 ended during Thanksgiving 1968. The top 10 New York Times best sellers for that week were: 1) The Salzburg Connection, by Helen MacInnes 2) Preserve and Protect, by Allen Drury 3) Airport, by Arthur Hailey 4) A Small Town in Germany, by John le Carré 5) The Hurricane Years, by Cameron Hawley 6) Couples, by John Updike 7) Testimony of Two Men, by Taylor Caldwell 8) True Grit, by Charles Portis 9) The Senator, by Drew Pearson 10) The First Circle, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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